Holiday parties, family gatherings, school recitals and shows. These are just a few of the things that fill our schedules around the holidays but then tack on all your clients coming in to make sure they look their best for these occasions, and you’re slammed.
But no matter how hectic the holiday season can get, one thing I think we all like to make time for is reflecting on the year. What did we accomplish? How can we do better next year? What can we do differently to help us create our own success?
One of my very favorite quotes is, “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” so as we're now fully immersed in the holiday season and end-of-year reflecting, I want to talk about goal-setting.
Don’t worry; I’m not talking about New Year's resolutions, so if you’re thinking, “Nope, I don't do resolutions,” I hear you. Today, I am talking about setting goals that get clear on what you want in your life for yourself, your family, and your career, and then creating a tangible, real-life action plan for them.
Not a bulleted itemized list of things to quit or a glorified to-do list, I’m talking detailed goals that are set-up in a way that ensures you’ll take action to achieve them. The goal-setting method I use to accomplish this is the S.M.A.R.T. Method.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound. It’s a phenomenal way to set personal goals, but the method is just as useful for professional goals.
Perhaps this is the year that you finally decide to go out on your own as a solo aesthetician. Or maybe it’s the year you aim to get promoted or see a big bump in the income you’ll make in 2017.
No matter what your professional goal may be, it's likely that part of that goal is tied to an increase in income. Financial projections can be tricky in any industry, but today I’m going to share three steps that I’ve used alongside the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method to help you create a realistic financial projection for your business in 2017.
1.) Know Your Numbers
To build a profitable business, it’s critical that you’re clear on your numbers, specifically what you need to bring in to be profitable. The place to start is calculating all of your fixed costs. Things like rent, utilities, scheduling software; anything that is a monthly recurring charge for the same (or very close) amount.
Next, you’ll want to add up your variable costs. These costs include things like retail products, treatment supplies, etc. Anything that you spend money on each month, but the amount that you spend changes depending on inventory. I would plug these into a spreadsheet so you can easily keep track of them over time.
2.) Price Your Treatments for Profitability
Knowing the actual cost of your treatments is imperative to the profitability of your spa. I suggest keeping the cost of your treatment below 10 percent of the paid price of the service for general aesthetics treatments like facials or waxing.
That means when you purchase a package of softs; you need to divide the actual number of softs in each package by the cost, so you know the true price of each one. Do this for each treatment you offer and set your prices accordingly.
3.) Know Your Competition
Finally, knowing your competition is crucial for a few reasons with the most important being having a strong grasp of your position in the market and understanding how you can differentiate through your client experience, services you offer and your pricing.
I suggest doing a Google search and finding at least 10 of your competitors. What types of services are they offering? What product lines to they carry?What are they charging? What is your competitive advantage against them?
Once you have the answers to these important questions, you’ll have the information you need to set realistic financial goals for yourself and your business.
Once armed with the information on your numbers, your prices, and your competition, you’re ready to get busy setting some goals!
Next, be sure to use the S.M.A.R.T. method to structure those goals so you can achieve them.
Extra tip: spend some extra time on the “Actionable” part of the method. You have to have a clear marketing plan to get people in the door and to meet the benchmarks you set for the other aspects of your goals, and that all gets outlined in the action part of the method.
Alright, time to get to work! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2017!